necessary

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EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English necessarye, from Old French necessaire, from Latin necessārius ‎(unavoidable, inevitable, required), variant of necesse ‎(unavoidable, inevitable), probably from ne or non cessum, from the perfect passive participle of cēdō ‎(yield; avoid, withdraw); see cede.

Older use as a noun in reference to an outhouse or lavatory under the influence of English and Latin necessarium, a medieval term for the place for monks' "unavoidable" business, usually located behind or attached to monastic dormitories.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

necessary ‎(comparative more necessary, superlative most necessary)

  1. Required, essential, whether logically inescapable or needed in order to achieve a desired result or avoid some penalty.
    Although I wished to think that all was false, it was yet necessary that that I, who thus thought, must in some sense exist.
    It is absolutely necessary that you call and confirm your appointment.
  2. Unavoidable, inevitable.
    If it is absolutely necessary to use public computers, you should plan ahead and forward your e-mail to a temporary, disposable account.
  3. (obsolete) Determined, involuntary: acting from compulsion rather than free will.
    • 1871, Richard Holt Hutton, Essays, Vol. I, p. 53:
      But that a necessary being should give birth to a being with any amount, however limited, of moral freedom, is infinitely less conceivable than that parents of the insect or fish type should give birth to a perfect mammal.

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NounEdit

necessary ‎(plural necessaries)

  1. (Britain, archaic euphemistic, usually with the definite article) A place to do the "necessary" business of urination and defecation: an outhouse or lavatory.

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StatisticsEdit

Most common English words before 1923: sight · electronic · sea · #457: necessary · idea · reached · appeared

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